Tony Fitzpatrick has been decorating his home at Drinagh with Christmas lights for the last twenty years. He was terribly sad when, in 2017 his wife passed away. He did not think he could continue doing the lights, but his daughters and sons encouraged him to continue.
Tony started off with one reindeer at his gate. People used to come to look at the reindeer and one day someone threw some coins over the gate. He was surprised and this lead him to enquire about collecting for charity. The reindeer is still in the shed, but it has now retired. It went on from there and has grown bigger and bigger each year. He has built it up to make it the wonderful Christmas wonderland it is today. People come from all over Ireland to see this amazing sight.
He makes most of his own Christmas decorations, from reindeers to roundabouts. The most difficult piece he made was a Ferris Wheel. Tony was a farmer and then a builder and is also a carpenter. This is why he is so good at making Christmas decorations. He is always in the shed coming up with new fresh and exciting ideas.
His wife was such an inspiration. When she was sick, she told Tony he had to continue with the Christmas lights for the children.
Tony entered into a Christmas competition with Energia and was both surprised and delighted when he won ‘Irelands Most Christmassy Home’, winning €3,000. He raised €3,060 for charity from the collection box at his home and combined this with the €3,000 her won from Energia and gave the full €6,060 to Wexford Hospice Homecare. The reason he chose this charity is because they were so good to his wife before she died.
They came to the house every morning and stayed there at night. They took such good care of his wife, giving her medicine and showing such kindness and care.
Tony was shocked and overjoyed to receive the January South East Radio / Talbot Hotel Outstanding Achievement Award.
He can now take a well-earned break as he has won a two-night stay in the one of the Talbot Collection Hotels.
He has raised approximately €3,000 this Christmas for the Irish Cancer Society.
Tony has turned tragedy into such a positive outcome. He thanked everyone who donated so kindly to Hospice Homecare and all the children’s charities over the past 20 years.